Title: A Daughter’s Deadly Deception
Author: Jeremy Grimaldi
My Rating: ♥♥♥
I first heard of this chilling story on my favourite true crime podcast, Casefile (seriously, if you’re into true crime, you have to check it out). I was surprised and excited to hear about this local Toronto-area case on the Australian podcast, and so of course, I had to look it up for more information. Of course, the book has a lot more detail than the 2-and-a-half-hour podcast, so it was great to delve into this case.
Jennifer Pan was the daughter of immigrants from Vietnam who had worked themselves silly trying to give Jennifer and her brother a better chance at life. In primary school, Jennifer was a golden child, with almost perfect grades at school and numerous awards in piano and ice skating. Something started to change in her when she hit grade nine, and that’s where it all started going downhill for her. Suddenly she wasn’t doing so well at school, so she started down a rabbit hole of lies by fudging her report cards. When she failed a subject and her university offer was withdrawn, the web of lies deepened and she started to pretend she was going to school. And all of this so as not to look like a failure in her parents’ eyes. Continue reading
Title: The Appetites of Girls (Audiobook)
Author: Pamela Moses
My Rating: ♥♥1/2
Francesca, Ruth, Opal and Setsu. These four girls couldn’t really be any more different from each other, yet they are thrown together as suite mates in their first year of university at Brown. The book tells each of their stories from childhood through to the present time, in particular weaving in each of their relationships with their mothers and with food. Continue reading
At the moment, I have quite a few books waiting for me on my Overdrive virtual bookshelf, as well as a few of my hotly anticipated titles on hold.
There’s an interesting hodge podge on my virtual bookshelf (checked out from library and need to read in the next coupe of weeks): Continue reading
Title: The Exclusives
Author: Rebecca Thornton
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
My partner recently read The Exclusives and recommended it to me. She couldn’t put it down, and I found that I couldn’t either once I got into it!
The book is set in an exclusive girls’ boarding school in London, UK. Josephine and Freya are the best of friends, and after Josephine is named Head Girl in her boarding school house, they head out to celebrate one last time before the heavy responsibilities of the year set in. The author reveals very early in the book that something awful goes down, and it seems to be something that changes all of the girls involved significantly and fundamentally. But the charming thing about this book is that you don’t really find out exactly what happened that night until close to the end. Continue reading
Title: The Dark Net: Inside the Digital World
Author: Jamie Bartlett
My Rating: ♥♥♥
I heard about The Dark Net in a podcast I was listening to about the horrible things that people get up to on corners of the internet. The author was interviewed on the topic, and it sounded like he had some interesting things to say. I’m sure I must have heard about the “dark net” before, but it didn’t stick and it felt like I was hearing about it for the first time. A world of secret websites where anything goes and you can’t get there using a normal browser? Tell me more! Continue reading
Author: Joseph Boyden
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
Stories about Indigenous Canadians have been my flavour of the month. I started out with Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire, and continued with The Reason You Walk by Wab Kinew. My Canada Reads 2017 favourite was The Break by Katherena Vermette (sadly voted out on day one, but that’s another story for another time).
Wenjack tells the story of Chanie Wenjack, a 12-year old boy who ran away from a residential school in 1966. Sadly, he didn’t know that his family lived hundreds of kilometres away when he set out to walk home along the train tracks, and he passed away after only a few days out there. Continue reading
Title: The Break
Author: Katherena Vermette
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
I hope this book wins Canada Reads 2017. There you go. Out of all of the 6 or 7 longlist and shortlisted books I’ve read so far, this one stands way ahead of the rest in my opinion.
The book starts with Stella, a mother who hears and sees a terrible attack outside her house. With her baby and young daughter in the house, she can’t really run outside to help, so she calls the police. From there, the story slowly and delightfully unravels, with each chapter told from the perspective of a different woman from four generations in the same family. Continue reading
Title: One Hour in Paris: a True Story of Rape and Recovery
Author: Karyn L. Freedman
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
This book is one of the 8 that I picked from the Canada Reads 2017 longlist. I didn’t get to finish it before the shortlist came out, and unfortunately it’s not one of the 5 contenders. But I continued reading it anyway.
Freedman was brutally raped as a young student traveling Europe. Of course, the event changed her life in many ways, and she still seems to feel it often even though she has had many years now to work on her recovery. The book starts out with that scene in Paris in 1990, and continues with her experiences of the recovery. The author is a philosopher, and as you might expect, she offers her philosophical views on rape and culture. Continue reading
January was a busy reading month for me. The CBC Canada Reads longlist was announced on December 23rd, and I immediately felt the pressure to read as many titles as I could from the list before they announced the shortlist. I picked 8 that I was interested in, and I was able to finish 5 of those by the end of the month. Now that the 5 contenders have been announced, it turns out that I read 2 of them, so it shouldn’t be hard to finish the other 3 before the end of March.
On top of that, I was still finishing up The Light Between Oceans, which I started in December, and I had a couple of books to get through for my bookclub.
This is the list of books I read throughout January: Continue reading
Title: The Reason You Walk
Author: Wab Kinew
My Rating: ♥♥♥
I read The Reason You Walk to discuss at my monthly bookclub. We choose two books per month, and this month it was this one by Wab Kinew together with The Secret Path by Gord Downie and Jeff Lemire (click the link to see my review of that one).
I was busy trying to read as many books as I could from the CBC Canada Reads 2017 Longlist, and so I didn’t get around to starting this one until a couple of days before the bookclub meeting. Luckily, I found it to be a pretty quick read. Continue reading